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Writing non-fiction (and a peak into my fictional past).

It’s no secret that writing fiction is where I feel the most at home.  It’s something I’ve been doing literally since I learned to write (if I were at home, I would insert a picture of me, circa 1986 in a big red sweater, writing in Crayola crayon in my spiral notebook on the front porch of my parent’s house).  In late elementary school / middle and high school, I wrote obsessively in my journals (all of which are still at home).  After flirting with screenplays in college, I began to go after novel length type material in my mid-twenties, graduating to a series, two standalone projects, 2.5 adult works and a giant heap of fanfiction.

Romance Novels and why I unabashedly enjoy them.

Inspired by this great post by Anne Browning Walker (be sure to check out the comments in the article as well).

According to the linked article, smart girls read romance novels.  For some reason, this essay struck a particular chord with me.  Why?  I’ve been reading ‘trashy’ novels for years. 

Hotel Vendome – a review.

I’d had this book as a ‘to read’ for awhile.  Given that one of my WIPs takes place solely in a hotel, Danielle Steele’s Hotel Vendome was among the closest fits I’ve had to my material.  As much of an avid reader as I am, I am not well versed in Ms. Steele’s large library of work.  I know she is known for romance, exotic locations and wealthy characters (although, please give me Judith Krantz any day of the week for this type of book).

Dramatic emphasis.

So, I’m reading one of my free Kindle downloads (Project Moses by Robert E. Lowe – no, not that Rob Lowe).  It’s written by a ‘Pulitzer Prize winning author’ (which, for the record, is an incredible accomplishment – this fact does not, however, make this author a particularly good fiction writer, nor does he have an Amazon author page (!) for me to determine if he is self published or not).  Although the reviews would tell you otherwise, for the most part the story is bland and 14% in, I’m not too bothered about caring for the protagonist.  In fact, the main thing distracting me from the story is the constant use of bold and italics.

Dream desk / office

This is a rather crap picture, but I’ve always had this dream that one magical, (not so) distant day when I “make it,” I’ll have the space to create my dream office.  My mental dream office is a wondrous place that is part study / part library and full of natural light.  The desk above is a good fit as I love the built in couch element – perfect for relaxing and reading. 

Meta(tastic) Writing: Protagonist as author.

I’ve got about 500,000 words behind me at this point.  While in the past I’ve written a protagonist very similar to me, she wasn’t a complete Mary Sue.  As she grew over the period of the series, she developed and changed – kind of a hybrid of me and who I wanted to be in high school.  At no point did the character fancy herself a writer or author.

50 Shades of Grey…some observations.

No, I haven’t downloaded the books.  Yes, I am waiting for the price to come down a bit.  Why?  Based on reviews, I don’t think the price point matches what I’m willing to pay.  Anyway…the fact that cannot be denied, EL James and her trilogy is a runaway success.  Kindle sales have been steady, media coverage has been fantastic, and for a book that started as fanfiction (yay!), I was curious.  While my own material is not as salacious, I did want to check in and see what a (unplanned) commercially successful author did.

When it rains…

In addition to much higher than anticipated sales of one of my titles, I received some other great news this week:

1. I’ve been communicating with a producer (she contacted me!) and after reviewing my work, she thinks one of my titles is worth bringing to the Disney Channel. Enter much excitement and spasaming on my side.

What was different? KDP Select (Second book, 1st free day).

So, I’ve posted previously about my trials with KDP Select.  Based on my expectations, I think I was off to a good start.  With The Line and its various dates February – April, I saw a nice bump in the initial free offering (and was pleased how that bump carried over to the other books in the series).  After the KDP Select service finished on The Line, I opted the next book in the series, A Fine Line, into the program. 

Serendipity (aka Cape Verde).

In the rough draft (and maybe even the 1st draft) of the Fates project, I had the characters do a major detour to Cape Verde (small set of islands off the coast of Africa). In the end, Cape Verde became a sad pit of time and momentum and got chopped out of the story. I was glad to see the plot streamlined, but had a lot of research and nowhere to put it. Enter Fates II. In my initial foray into the book, I needed a similar spot and without much compromise, was easily able to make Cape Verde the spot.

Now, I still need to do a bit of research on the lighthouse, but as of now – it’s a fundamentally perfect ‘real’ fictional location.

Love it when things come together without trying!